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Former Minister: Midlands 'lagging behind' the North

The departure of Sir Albert Bore comes at a critical time for the Midlands. Birmingham is one of seven councils in a combined authority who are negotiating with the treasury next week to get more money and backing for the Midlands economy.

But former trade Minister Digby Lord Jones of Birmingham has told ITV News he's concerned that poor leadership has meant the Midlands is lagging behind the Northern Powerhouse in Manchester.

Our business correspondent, Mark Gough reports.


West Midland job confidence scores lowest in country

Job confidence in the West Midlands is lower than anywhere else in England, a new report has found.

The first national Job Confidence Index, released by the National Careers Service today, shows that across the country attitudes towards the jobs market is improving as people gain confidence in the economic recovery and their job prospects.

The Index shows that in the West Midlands, people scored their confidence at 50.9 - lower than the national average of 51.8 and below anywhere else in the country.

The East Midlands measured 51.8 exactly.

Unemployment figures released for Midlands, full report

New figures show the number of people unemployed in the West Midlands went up between October and December 2012.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says 238,000 people remain out of work in the region - three thousand more than between July and September last year.

Nationally, unemployment fell by 14,000 to 2.5 million.

The figures come as it emerged 1,700 people applied for 8 jobs at one coffee shop in the East Midlands, giving some indication about how tough the job market remains.

Charlotte Grant reports.


  1. National

Unemployment fell by 14,000 in final quarter of 2012

Unemployment fell by 14,000 between October and December to 2.5 million, official figures showed today.

Unemployment figures Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month fell by 12,500 to 1.54 million, said the Office for National Statistics.

Average earnings increased by 1.4% in the year to December, 0.1% down on the previous month.

Economic recovery? What the white man van thinks

Central Tonight took a straw poll on the economy today from the people who really know how British business is doing - the white-van man.

It coincided with the launch of a vehicle from one of the country's smallest and newest motor firms.

So we thought we'd ask the small one-man band operations who drive the UK economy if we're still in trouble. Here's our Business Correspondent, Mark Gough.

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